John Tilbury – “The Tiger’s Mind” (Cubus Records, 2019)


“The Tiger’s Mind” is a new piano solo album released by Switzerland’s label “Cubus Records” and recorded by John Tilbury. British pianist John Tilbury is talented and inventive musician of contemporary academical music’s scene. His works are usually related to Morton Feldman’s works – he had recorded a splendid and innovative interpretations of Morton Feldman’s compositions. John Tilbury also is closely related to other famous composers of contemporary academical music scene – he had recorded the compositions written by Cornelius Cardew, Howard Skempton, John White, and made the interesting interpretations of Samuel Beckett’s radio plays. John Tilbury’s works are based on the main tendencies of contemporary academical, electroacoustic and experimental music – he blends together extended playing techniques, inventive ideas, fresh conceptions, radical or shocking decisions, rare stylistic or instrumental combos and gorgeous coloristics.

John Tilbury is balancing between ascetic minimalism, serialism, strict and abstract form, extended and traditional playing techniques and wide range of ornaments, sounds, timbres and tunes. That makes an effort to original, inspiring and engaging sound of “The Tiger’s Mind”. John Tilbury is using the fundaments of minimalism, post minimalism, academic avant-garde and experimental music, which were created and developped by Morton Feldman and other famous composers. Along with already known elements, pianist is developping his very own sound and brand new conception – minimalism is the key of it. The research of strange timbres, extraction of noisy, gorgeous, harsh, pressured or peculiar tunes and astonishing sonoristic experiments are the main priorities for John Tilbury. These elements become the fundaments of whole album – pianist is placing all the other elements on solid and multi-layed musical pattern based on repetitions, meditative minimalism and lyrical contemplations. The music is constructed from repetitions, series, sequences and sessions of various kinds. Monotnous and short melodic elements contain the main melody – it’s subtle, tight andbased on abstract improvising, instant changes and spontaneous solos. Short melodic elements are accompagnied by strange timbres, gorgeous ornaments, flowing passages and sonoristic experiments. A serialism and repetitions are the main principes of forming the rhythmic section. The  different kinds of repetitive rhythmic series repeated silmunateously create a meditative, solemn and relaxing sound. The sequences of soft consonances and light chords make an effort to remarkable, subtle and inventive harmonic pattern. John Tilbury is passing through dozens of moods – from dark, haunted, deep and abandonned episodes the music gets noisy, annoyed and hysteric, frantic and scandalous from time to time, or light, remarkable and solemn. The minimalistic samples played in sophisticated and lyrical mood, have a suggestive, contemplative and subtle sound. There also are many episodes which are filled with strained, pressured, peculiar and gorgeous timbres, astonishing sonoristic experiments. John Tilbury succesfully manages to create meditative, effective, innovative and remarkable sound.

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